Husband overseas and filing for Divorce in NC


My husband and I have been living apart since 2013. In 2014 he PCS’ed to El Paso TX and is now deployed. He emailed stating he is filing for a divorce because he wants to file for bankruptcy. He is having an attorney draft up the paperwork. At what point do I need to hire an attorney, once paperwork is received or prior to? How long do I have to review the documents once I am served? Is it best to settle out of court if we can agree on all terms? I gave him a list today of what I want in the divorce decree and he agreed to all terms. What are your thoughts?
We have been married for almost 10 years, we have 1 child together and he has 2 from a previous relationship.

I am asking for.
Child support 450 (your website says 615.00)
Increase in child support of 10% with each promotion
That he keeps our child covered with health insurance and dental
Pay half of any additional medical cost that isn’t covered by insurance
Half of college (half GI bill)
That I have primary custody
Visitation will be agreed upon with both parties.

Is there anything that I am missing that needs to be mentioned?

Any help is greatly appreciated.


Additionally, I do not want to fight to hard or go to hard because I fear losing half of my 401k. Am I being reasonable? Am I entitled to any of his retirement?


You can hire an attorney either before or after you have received paperwork from his attorney, depending on whether you want to try to work out the details on your own or want or need to assistance of an attorney.

Depending on what kind of paperwork the attorney sends you determines how long you will have to review them. If the attorney sends you a separation agreement, there is no specific deadline for you to respond, so take a reasonable amount of time to thoroughly review the proposal. If you are served with a court action, note that you will only have 30 days to formally respond.

It may be best for you to settle out of court by way of a separation agreement if you and your husband can agree on all the terms. An out of court settlement is less expensive and usually takes less time to complete than having to go to court.

Your points regarding custody/child support are reasonable and common. You should consider having specific visitation guidelines set forth, if possible, rather than leaving it open. This should also include holidays and summer visitation. That way it prevents a disagreement from happening in the future.

You may also want to evaluate your finances and see if you are in need of alimony.

Regarding retirement accounts, a spouse is generally entitled to a one-half portion of the other spouse’s retirement account that was acquired during the marriage. If your retirement account balance is much higher, your husband may be entitled to one-half of the balance that was accumulated during the marriage, or vice versa. So you could be entitled to one-half of his retirement account, depending on account balances and the rest of the marital assets and debts that is to be distributed.